There are many things that make me extremely nervous in my life. For example, when I stand in front of a large group of people to give a speech, that causes my blood pressure to rise ever so slightly, or when I walk down a dark alley at night. I never know who is lurking around the corner to rob me. Also included in this list is watching my favorite sports teams participate in the playoffs. Yes, that is right! Being a sports fan around playoff time is not kind to your heart health to say the least. I know many fans know exactly what I am talking about. It can be extremely excruciating to sit through an overtime in an important playoff game. Sometimes we fans are more nervous than the players and coaches themselves!
I don’t have a real strong passion for any of the NBA or NHL playoff teams, but I can just tell from watching the games on television that passion is extremely strong in those cities. During a recent closely contested NHL playoff game that I watched, the camera zoomed in on some of the fans and it seemed like some were an absolute nervous wreck. Unfortunately, the home team lost in overtime and one shot of a fan really caught my attention. It was a young female fan, perhaps 20 years old. She was crying uncontrollable after the loss. I kept thinking how her evening most of been completely ruined by the sudden loss. Hopefully she did not jump off some nearby bridge on her way home. It was a very touching camera shot to say the least. When you invest in so much time and energy to support a particular team during the season and they come up short, it can be a very difficult emotional trauma to deal with. On the flip side, when your favorite team makes a big playoff run, it is the greatest thing in the world. You are overcome with the franchise fever and that is a good fever to have!
I have to admit that I tend to fall into the category of overly passionate sports fan. There are times when I cannot sit and watch an important playoff game when my team is playing. It is just too stressful especially if I am watching it myself. I have to remind myself that the world will still exist even though my team may lose. If my team does lose a big game and are knocked out of the playoffs, I always look ahead and think about the future. Maybe this wasn’t the time for them to advance deep into the playoffs. They are too young. As a sports fan, you always have to have hope for the future. That is the number one way of getting over a huge playoff disappointment.
In the grand scheme of things, there are far more important things to get nervous about than some stupid game played by extremely wealthy individuals. But don’t tell that to those rabid sports fans who live and die on the success of their teams, especially come playoff time. For them, nothing else matters in the world. It is funny how sports team tend to influence people in that matter. Especially when those fans have absolutely no control over how their team performs. I cannot stand at the free throw line and knock down some free throws. Or stop a shot in overtime. Perhaps we as fans including myself should take a step back and realize how much fun those games are instead of going through the emotional torture chamber of sitting and watching a crucial playoff game. Our heart may thank us for it.
In an extremely stunning announcement, Fox News announced last week that they have fired perhaps their most popular host ever, Bill O’Reilly over sexual harassment allegations. O’Reilly had hosted a show called “The Factor” on weekday nights and that show had held one of the top rating slots in cable prime time for several years. Already, several media pundits are declaring the end of Fox News. O’Reilly’s departure is the second big name to leave the network in the last year. Megan Kelly, who hosted a show immediately after O’Reilly, left the network within the past year. I am sure that Fox News will take a little bit of hit over these high-profile departures, but to declare them dead? please! They have plenty of talent ready to step in and fill the void.
I have to admit that I was a frequent viewer of O’Reilly’s show and will miss him greatly. His show was number one in the ratings for a reason, it was very entertaining for a political show and was not one of these liberal or conservative love fests that many cable political shows seem to be these days. Many points of view were debated on the show and it was a program that appealed to many political points of views. I also loved the fact that he stressed the importance of solid, truthful facts which again many networks fail woefully in giving the viewers. On top of these things, he added humor to the show with the likes of Dennis Miller and Jesse Watters. It will be hard to beat a show filled with that type of a lineup.
O’Reilly’s replacement. Tucker Carlson, is a very solid host and is more than able to fill the void. One of the things that really strikes me about the few times that I have watched his show is the guests that he has. They have completely different political than he has yet his discussions and debates with them are very entertaining and respectful. He does not talk over his guests and is very fair to them. I think Carlson is one of the most underrated cable news show hosts today. He is a very good upcoming talent.
Fox News has plenty of critics and I am sure that they are beaming with joy these days. That joy will be short-lived when they realize that Fox will still maintain their number one ratings and continue to dominate CNN and something called MSNBC. Fox seems to get it when it comes to giving the viewers what they need to hear. Fair and balanced reporting is their theme and they do an excellent job of it. O’Reilly will be missed by many including this blogger, but Fox News will go on and still be a very solid network where people can actually get some truth to the important issues of the day.
An unspeakable atrocity happened last Tuesday when the Syrian government attacked its very own citizens with chemical weapons killing several people including women and children. A few days later the United States launched several missile strikes at a few airbases in Syria. I was designed to show the pro-Assad people that the United States will not put up with such horrendous acts of savagery and violence by countries towards their people. As expected in the aftermath of this attack, there were some questioning the motives of this attack and whether it was necessary. Some foreign leaders such as Vladimir Putin called it a violation of international law. Isn’t it funny to hear that statement coming from a guy like him? Here at home, some were criticizing Trump for not going through Congress before making this attack. It is my understanding that you do that before you go to war against a country, not in a situation like this. Regardless, it wasn’t surprising to hear the anti-attack theoretic that has been taking place. Whenever you deal with President Donald Trump, there is bound to be some controversy and this situation with Syria is no exception. Once again, Trump is trying to fix things that the previous administration failed woefully at. I have to credit Trump for at least trying.
The bottom line about this missile attack is that something had to be done. When a leader of a foreign country deliberately tries to kill the citizens of the country, it should outrage people from all over the world. Some are saying that this is just Syria’s problem, no it is not just their problem! We have a moral obligation to prevent savages such as Syrian President Assad from doing more of these attacks in the future. We need to send a swift and strong message to Assad that in this world, attacks against innocent people will not be tolerated. A few years ago, a certain president of this country promised that if Assad crossed a certain line, he would be dealt with. As it turns out, he never was along with his chemical weapons. According to that former president, Assad no longer had any chemical weapons.
I don’t know what lies ahead in this Syrian situation. Ousting Assad does not necessarily mean the end to the violence over there. A new leader might be just as ruthless as him. I do know that it is nice to finally have a leader of this country who is not afraid to make swift and decisive decisions. I am one of those who does have confidence in the new administration in handling difficult foreign matters. The world is a dangerous place right now and we cannot afford to be passive like we have been. With new administration’s order for missile strikes, it signals that the era of this passive super power might be order. It is certainly refreshing to know that and the world might be better off because of it.
I know there are some out there who will criticize everything Trump does. That is just a given. But how can you even take to task someone who is willing to defend and do it swiftly, innocent women and children? The whole world should be behind us in dealing with this madman in Syria. Sending missiles is a powerful first step. It may just prevent other poor citizens of that country from experiencing the same brutal deaths that so many have gone through. This latest attack on the Syrian airbases is long overdue and much-needed.
Attention all you sports fans out there, wouldn’t it be nice if we had the power to change an outcome of an event or game from the comforts of our own home? Suppose we were watching a baseball game and noticed the hitter did not touch all of the bases after hitting a home run. We could call or email the league office and get the ruling overturned. Perhaps there was an obvious pass interference call during a football game that the referees missed. Once again, maybe us fans should take matters into our own hands and be the final judges. Oh never mind the officials at the game, we are the ultimate referees. Sounds rather silly doesn’t it? What sport would actually give someone sitting at home that kind of power? Well as it turns out, professional golf does.
The whole episode last week with professional women’s golfer Lexi Thompson is one of the strangest and most ridiculous rulings that I have ever seen in all my years of watching sports. To recap, Thompson made the terrible sin of not placing her ball directly behind the coin that was placed in front of her ball on the putting green before she picked up the ball. Instead, Thompson placed her ball on the side of the coin, roughly about an inch away from her original position. The new location was not closer to the cup and no official noticed her placing the ball in the incorrect location. As it turns out, an anonymous fan at home noticed and sent an email to LGA headquarters. Yes, a serious rule violation took place and Thompson must pay! To make matters even worse, the viewer waited until the next day (final day of the tournament) to contact the league office. After reviewing the complaint the following, the official slapped Thompson with not only a 2 stroke penalty, but another 2 stroke penalty for signing an incorrect scorecard. It was not until the 12th whole on the final day of the tournament that Thompson was notified of this violation.
I find several things extremely wrong with this whole story, but I will focus on just a few. First of all, why did the rules official miss that so-called infraction? Was the official assigned to that group taking a late afternoon snooze? With all the advanced technology that we currently have, there is absolutely no reason at all for missing something like that. The rules officials should have been on top of it immediately.
Second of all, this was an honest mistake by the player and the ball was not placed any closer to the hole. The only way I can see Thompson gaining an advantage is if there were a spike mark on the path to the hole. But let’s be real, I highly doubt moving the ball that little distance really affected the putt’s path at all. A silly rule if you ask me!
3rd and last of all, why is some viewer so obsessed that he or she would be willing to take time and write to the league headquarters to complain about such a minor infraction? And not to do it promptly? What do they feel they are gaining by doing this? I highly doubt this individual will have to guts to come out and become known.
I just feel that in any sporting event, it is the job of the officials to make calls and not the viewers at home. They get paid to do so, not us viewers at home. The officials of the LPGA should view ashamed of this happening. It is a huge black eye on the sport of golf. When a television viewer suddenly affects the outcome of a tournament, things are not right. We are going down a slippery slope if this it not changed. I just hope the officials learn from this and make changes to ensure this embarrassment does not happen again. Lexi Thompson deserved to be treated better than that. She probably lost a major championship and thousands of dollars due to incompetence by tournament officials and some anonymous fan. That is just not right!